Mandy Moore Says Milo Ventimiglia Is Their 'This Is Us ' 'Leader,' Even After Jack's Death: 'He's Not Going Anywhere'

Season 2 of This Is Us premieres Sept. 26 on NBC

This Is Us fans, breathe easy — Jack isn’t going anywhere, his on-screen wife confirms.

PEOPLE recently caught up with Mandy Moore and the actress — and newly announced Garnier spokesperson — opened up about Milo Ventimiglia, his beloved character on the hit NBC series and the much-anticipated season 2.

“Milo is No. 1 on the call sheet — he isn’t going anywhere,” says Moore, 33. “He is our leader. We call him our actor department head. If you want to know what’s going on in the show or have a question about something, Milo, without fail, has the answer.”

This Is Us, which returns Sept. 26, scored an impressive 11 Emmy nominations, including the coveted outstanding drama series nod. The series also scored four nominations for the series regulars (Ventimiglia, Sterling K. Brown, Chrissy Metz, and Ron Cephas Jones) as well as three more in the guest acting category (Denis O’Hare, Brian Tyree Henry and Gerald McRaney).

“I was on my way to work [when I found out] and I was elated,” says Moore. “I’m still elated! I’m so excited to hopefully watch my friends win and maybe our show win, and just go and celebrate this insane year we all had together.”

“To be a show in its first year nominated for best drama is just mind-boggling,” she adds. “We’re so grateful and appreciative of the opportunity to be there and be in such incredible company. I’m going to have fun and take it all in!”

So does all the award show love mean added pressure?

“No,” says Moore. “Like, it’s so cool, who doesn’t want to be in this position? I don’t think it adds any pressure. We’re all pretty cool cucumbers and there isn’t a bad apple in the bunch, so I think we’re all able to just appreciate the moment. It’s not do-or-die by any means.”

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As for what we can expect from the new season, Moore says she thinks it’s “better than ever.”

“We just watched the first three episodes with the cast the other night together and I think I was really struck by how it’s equal parts touching and laugh-out-loud funny,” she says. “I think it’s better than ever. I’m really proud of it. Everybody just did such remarkable work across the board again, and I hope people are going to be happy with it.”

“We’re all having so much fun and it’s very emotional,” she adds. “It’s sort of our signature. If they’re looking for a good weep, they won’t be disappointed.”

Season 2 of This Is Us premieres Sept. 26 on NBC.

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